By Kathy Gillen, Partner, Moore Stephens Jersey
There are close to 100 Jersey companies listed on stock exchanges globally, including London, New York, Hong Kong, Toronto, Luxembourg and Oslo, as well as the Channel Islands Stock Exchange, with a total market capitalisation in the region of £135 billion.
Jersey's credentials are impressive and include the number one ranking for FTSE 100 companies registered outside the UK. Of the 11 companies in this category, 8 are Jersey registered and there are a further 9 in the FTSE 250 Index. With a total market capitalisation value from both exchanges of more than £78 billion, this is considerably higher than any of Jersey's closest competitor jurisdictions. Jersey is also one of the leading international finance centres for Alternative Investment Market (AIM) companies registered outside the UK.
For clients, one of Jersey's key strengths in the global markets is the depth and breadth of its skilled practitioners, who are able to deal with such complex matters in a cost effective manner. This, combined with the attractive Companies Law, robust regulation and tax neutrality, makes Jersey an ideal choice for this type of business.
Jersey is becoming increasingly well known in emerging markets, particularly in the BRIC countries. In the last year, a number of our clients have incorporated Jersey companies with the intention of listing them either on the main London Stock Exchange market or AIM. They are from a wide range of sectors including natural resources, mining, hotels and textiles. A number of these clients are using this period to restructure their affairs, some merging their foreign companies with Jersey companies by taking advantage of the recent changes to the merger provisions in the Companies (Jersey) Law 1991.
Due to uncertainty in terms of time frames for the listings, and also for cost reasons, many of the companies we have incorporated are private and will convert to public companies closer to the listing dates. One key reason for this is to avoid the necessity of preparing and submitting audited accounts - a requirement for public companies. The cost savings and the ease of transition from a private to a public company tend to make this option attractive.
Jersey is often represented at international conferences on the subject of stock exchange listings using Jersey holding companies. Moore Stephens Jersey recently presented in Mumbai to the Western India Regional Council of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. Platforms such as this serve to increase awareness of Jersey and its capabilities in the capital markets and lead to even more demand for using Jersey holding companies as listing vehicles.
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